This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.

6 September 2006

Barrett questions Minister over Darfur aid agency safety

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, today raised fresh concerns over the safety of aid workers in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Mr Barrett today met with Secretary of State for International Development Hillary Benn to discuss the worsening security situation in Darfur. Mr Barrett raised specific concern over the safety of aid agency staff.

The Edinburgh West MP was due to visit Darfur this week as part of a delegation of politicians, however the trip was cancelled by the government because of the worsening security situation. Recent months have seen more aid workers killed than in the previous three years of conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan with twelve aid workers killed since May.

The mandate of the current African Union (AU) peacekeeping force ends on September 30th and international aid workers would almost certainly be forced to pull out if the AU force is not replaced by UN peacekeepers. Experts have warned this could trigger a major humanitarian crisis in the region.

In a statement, John Barrett said:

“It is absolutely crucial that we secure the safety of aid agency workers operating in Darfur. This can only be achieved by replacing the African Union force with UN peacekeepers with a stronger mandate to keep the peace.

“I have seen for myself the crucial role that aid agencies play in conflict zones around the world. If we find ourselves in a situation where aid agencies are forced out of Darfur then a humanitarian catastrophe in the region may become unavoidable.”


Notes

There are currently 14 000 aid workers, 1 000 of them international staff, helping Darfuris who fled their homes to escape the rape, pillage and murder that has plagued the region since rebels took up arms against the government in 2003.

Related items

Keywords:
international
international development
Darfur
Sudan
international aid
Africa

Click on a keyword to find other pages with the same keyword.

This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.